Why is self-care an ethical imperative, not just a luxury?

This might be quite obvious when we stop to think about it, but often the need to get things done and take care of the people who need us, we say too many yes’s and not enough no’s. When we are burned out, stressed, overwhelmed, going from one thing to another…we make mistakes, we cause unnecessary harm by moving too quickly and not attending to relationships with enough care, or we take action too quickly without seeing the negative consequences.

I notice that now that most of my relationships are conducted in the virtual world, I don’t have the travel time from one appointment to another that used to give me a little space for slowing down and contemplating, since I can schedule meetings with no break between. I hadn’t been aware of how much happens when I have some empty space (even just 5 minutes). In that space, things I thought I needed to do, can just fall away or be given to a more appropriate person. In that space, there is room for much-needed creativity.

Self-care is more than getting enough sleep. Self-care includes space. It includes some kind of what I’m calling “theta time” for my brain to rest. My theta time comes from doing puzzles (something I used to think was a waste of time), and from time in nature to realign myself with the organic rhythms of the natural world. I read recently that the average person spends a mere 10% of their time outside. I think I spend even less than that, alas. And what a sad disconnect. One of my intentions for next year is to do more re-charging of my personal power by actively connecting with nature and beauty.

Cedar

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